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What’s up – orchids in KNPPosted: June 23, 2012

By Larry Halverson/Friends of Kootenay

The Pale Coral-root and Striped Coral-root (orchids) are wide-spread across B.C. However, finding them is a rare delight and to see both of them growing along the Cobb Lake trail on June 12 was a real treat.

A third coral-root also grows in Kootenay, it is called the Spotted Coral-root and is like the Stripped Coral-root but has spots rather than stripes which is why one is called striped and the other spotted (makes it easy to remember which is which). So it is possible to get the “grand slam” of coral-roots in Kootenay National Park. Look for them growing in moist humus on the forest floor.


These plants are called saprophytes. They live in symbiosis with particular fungi that provides the food for them. Which means they have no need for chlorophyll for photosynthesizes. However the pale coral root with its greenish tinge suggests it may have some chlorophyll to manufacture part of its food.

Pale Coral-root and Striped Coral-root – Photos by Larry Halverson


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